Pokémon Go PvP is a much requested feature - which means Player vs Player, a term popularised in other multiplayer games - allows players to participate in Trainer Battles with one another.

This, alongside trading from earlier in 2018, means Pokémon Go is finally starting to catch with one of core handheld games in their original goals - allowing players to directly compete and swap their various catches.

We've gone hands-on with Pokémon Go PvP, revealing all kinds of new information about the mode ahead of its release.

On this page:

Estimated Pokémon Go 'PvP' release date

Developer Niantic has been busy teasing the mode for a few days now - so when is the Pokémon Go PvP release date? Niantic has simply said "this month". Based on the timing of previous new features being revealed to going live, this might take only a week or two for it to be playable, with previous features going live late on a Friday UK time.

Additionally, Niantic told us it'll roll out initially by level - so expect Level 40 players to gain access first to test the waters, and go from there.

Requirements for how to start Pokémon Go 'PvP' Trainer Battles

Once the PvP feature goes live, there will be multiple ways to participate in Trainer Battles.

To particulate in Trainer Battles, open the 'Nearby' menu - at the bottom right corner of the map screen - which will give you a variety of Battle options.

You don't need to be Friends to battle locally - simply present a QR code, allowing you to Challenge another Trainer.

If you are Ultra or Best Friends, meanwhile, you can participate in PvP at any distance.

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As well as fighting against other players, you can also compete against computer-controlled opponents - specifically the three leaders of Team Valor, Mystic and Instinct, allowing you to get in some practice and earn rewards.

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How Pokémon Go 'PvP' Trainer Battles work

Here are the essentials of PvP battles:

  • PvP parties will compose of three Pokémon, compared to the six as seen in Raids and Gym Battles.
  • You will be able to swap between these three Pokémon mid-battle.
  • Though battles still aren't turn based like the main games, they work slightly differently than Gyms and Raids. They are still in real time, where you tap to inflict damage with Fast Moves, but each Pokemon will now have two Charge Moves, allowing for more options.
  • Additionally, Protect Shields allow you to defend against attacks. There are only a certain number of these, so choose your timing wisely - do you wait until you're against a more powerful foe before using them, or deploy them while you know what you're up against?
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  • There are three leagues - Great League, Ultra League and Master League, each having a CP cap for the Pokémon that can be used in them. The leagues mean it's not just your best Pokémon with the highest CP that will get use - with the lower leagues allowing lower CP creatures (often with unique moves) to shine, putting your full collection to the test. They are:
    • Great League - 1500 CP cap
    • Ultra League - 2500 CP cap
    • Master League - no CP cap
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Pokémon Go Trainer Battles and PvP rewards explained

Participating in Trainer Battles results in the following rewards, win or lose:

Note the above will only be rewarded once per day when training with the computer, or up to three times a day when facing other players.

As well as the above, Trainer Battles will progress the long-dormant 'Ace Trainer' Medal.

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Coming soon is the addition of Pokémon Go PvP. Until then, a new month means the arrival of December Field Research and new Shinies. New Pokémon Go Gen 4 Pokémon continue to be slowly released, such as the addition of Legendary Cresselia and the introduction of the Sinnoh Stone, affecting various Best Pokémon lists.


What else you need to know about Pokémon Go Trainer Battles and PvP

As well as the above essentials, here are some extra details of interest:

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  • There is no 'leaderboard' support in game - leaving it to players to design and maintain their own outside of the game, which in theory will also allow for more flexibility and customisation.
  • The second Charge Move will be rolled out across all game modes - including Gyms and Raid battles - and will be taken from the creature's existing pool of moves.
  • Individual Charge Moves will recharge at different rates, providing some additional strategy than simply tapping and firing them off as soon as the move becomes available.
  • Adding the second charge move to a Pokémon costs (a small amount of) Candy and Stardust.
  • Challenges from players will result in notifications - both in-game and phone push notifications.
  • Niantic is interested in expanding Trainer Battles with more mechanics in future - though nothing specific was confirmed, think along the lines of status effects, hidden powers, Mega Evolutions from the main games - as time goes on.
  • Additionally, Niantic has discussed the possibility of facing other computer-controlled adversaries in future. Could we see cameos from characters from the anime or core games one day?
  • Child accounts cannot battle other players, but they can participate in battles against the computer.
  • Battles are timed, and if at the end of the battle there are still Pokémon remaining, then the winner is determined by the amount of Pokémon available, and if that's a tie, the amount of HP remaining.
  • Six versus six battles were originally tested, but Niantic found battles took too long for the more faster-paced combat Pokémon Go is known for.

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About the author

Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Guides Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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